Today’s society is constantly associated to technology, such as cellphones, tablets and computers. However, the one thing all these forms of technology have is their connection to the Internet. Having a pathway to use the Internet all almost all technology devices is a very dangerous thing. Sherry Turkle at TED Talks 2012 explained this action as overpowering us humans. “The little devices in our pockets are so psychologically powerful that they don’t even change what we do, they change who we are” (Turkle, 2012). Sherry Turkle describes the large access to the internet not only dangerous but it also has the ability to change the individual. This is where the balance of public, private and personal within the social media world is so important. The public aspect is one that allowing the public, meaning every single individual on the Internet sees what you are posting. Private, meaning these other people cannot see what you posted. Lastly, personal concerning the usage of social media websites and showing your information to selected friends and family. I currently use Facebook and my settings are as private as they get because I do not want people I do not know to see what I’m posting. My profile is very limited with information, I do not provide my email, phone number, address, ect. However, I do have what school I attend and my birthday (month and day but no year), but that is about it. I am debating on changing my last name of my Facebook profile to my middle name to discourage others from trying to find me and to keep my name private. But I have not made that change yet. Therefore, I balance public, private and personal by limiting what personal information I provide on my social media websites and I make all my setting extremely private. Boyd and Ellison (2008) explains the harsh reality of social media especially Facebook; a feature that differentiates Facebook is the ability for outside developers to build applications which allow users to personalize their profiles and perform other tasks, such as compare movie preferences and chart travel histories”(Boyd & Ellison, 2008). Having this information all this information on one website can become hazardous. For example, Instagram (a social media picture network) has developed new policies that conclude that the pictures that the users and upload to the website/app will then in return be saved and used by Instagram. This policy takes away your privacy rights as an individual however, when signing up you must click the ‘I agree’ button in regards to their policies. Thus, when releasing personal information I now read the social media policies because I do not want my information sold to other companies and so on. The knowledge that my social media activities are under constant surveillance influence provides me with a sense of ‘Big Brother’. This sense of feeling will most defiantly alter what I post online. Albrechtslund (2008) demonstrates that this Big Brother feeling is actually more common then believed. Most individuals on the Internet especially on social media websites have no idea regarding this surveillance. Therefore, in my opinion individuals need a better understanding regarding the surveillance on the Internet. Also, the knowledge of the balance between public, private and personal should be common. There is always someone watching.
Albrechtslund, A. (2008) “Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance.” First Monday. 13,3
Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship danah m. boyd Nicole B. Ellison Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Volume 13, Issue 1, pages 210–230, October 2007
Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012 http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/places-we-dont-want-to-go-sherry-turkle-at-ted2012/
The above image demonstrates the little privacy settings that a social media website (Facebook) has.